Charity Bank loan helped restore Govan landmark

The historic former head office of Fairfields shipyard in Govan was rerfurbished with the help of a Charity Bank loan. Picture: McAteer Photograph
The historic former head office of Fairfields shipyard in Govan was rerfurbished with the help of a Charity Bank loan. Picture: McAteer Photograph
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AN HISTORIC former Govan shipyard head office restored with help from an ethical bank will be among the projects open to the public as part of a national campaign to promote responsible finance.

The Fairfields building in Govan Road was refurbished as high-quality offices and a shipbuilding museum by Govan Workspace, a local social enterprise, after it was granted a loan by the Charity Bank.

The main entrance to the former Fairfield shipyard head office in 2011 before its restoration. Picture: Robert Perry

The main entrance to the former Fairfield shipyard head office in 2011 before its restoration. Picture: Robert Perry

It will be open to the public on October 28 as part of the bank’s Follow the Money project.

Fifteen of the bank’s borrowers from across the UK who will open their doors as part of Good Money Week, a new national campaign to raise awareness of responsible and ethical finance.

Govan Workspace provides affordable office space for small businesses and has helped restore a number of historic industrial buildings in the former burgh in south Glasgow.

It was established in 1981 to support the creation of employment in a community severely impacted by the decline of shipbuilding.

At Charity Bank, money has a moral compass

Patrick Crawford, Charity Bank chief executive

The workspace is an industrial and commercial landlord and tailors its leases to suit the needs of developing firms.

Its two Charity Bank loans helped finance the £2 million purchase and decontamination of a brownfield industrial site and to refurbish the former Fairfields head office, which is Grade A listed.

Patrick Crawford, Charity Bank chief executive, said: “Money is an intrepid traveller, destined for diverse locations across the globe, invested in businesses and industries, some positive others destructive. Its most unsavoury destinations are well documented: the arms trade, gambling, tobacco, industries where workers are exploited or environments damaged.

“At Charity Bank, money has a moral compass. When guided by good intentions, it embarks on a journey to care for and protect people and the wonders of nature. This is your opportunity to see the good that you can do when you put your money where your values are.”

Pat Cassidy, Govan Worspace managing director, said: “Through the creation of workspaces where small businesses can flourish we’ve been helping to generate employment for the past 30-odd years and bringing a bit more wealth into the community. At the same time we’ve been protecting Govan’s heritage by saving from demolition a number of important historic buildings, including the iconic Fairfield shipyard offices which were once the very nerve-centre of Clyde shipbuilding.”

Those interested in attending the event on October 28 should visit the Charity Bank’s website. Attendees do not have to be existing customers of Charity Bank.